While it is very clear that conformity assessment is widely beneficial in most areas, there are many legitimate questions to be asked with regard to its impact on business and technological innovation. In some sense, the very notion of standardization does seem to conflict with the creative spirit of individualistic freedom. This is an area where the International Organization for Standardization uses its best judgement. The ISO is aware that some types of regulation can stifle the creativity of markets. This is not the intent of standardization itself. However, where the ISO is perhaps shortsighted of an issue, the commitment to ISO regulations is always voluntary and doing so will in most cases only benefit the participating organization.
Very rarely does the ISO implement a standard that could be potentially stifling to innovations of all sorts. There are many information technology standards that deal with media formats and standardized computer products. Technological standards are something that has always been contentious as pieces of technology have been defined by their duplicatable formats and media types. In this situation, any format chosen as an international standard format will perhaps run the risk of stifling the development of any other competing formats. On the other hand, if no uniform format is chosen, this would defeat the very purpose of standardization as a means to widely disseminate this valuable technology to potential consumers all over the world.
In most other areas that do not deal with the technological establishment of formatting standards, there is very little the ISO can do to really stifle technological or business innovations. This is of course unless you consider the intentional pursuit of poor business practices to be some form of innovation. Standardization may force businesses to get creative.
In the end, there are numerous benefits to conformity assessment. Standardization is meant to be a generally positive experience for everyone even though it may inspire people and businesses to adapt to certain new criteria.